by Dr. Charles Stanley
Do Not Quench the Spirit
A campfire needs fuel to burn. Campers will add dry sticks and leaves to keep the flames high and hot, but when it is time to sleep, they will either starve the fire or forcibly put it out with water or dirt.
The Lord has lit a fire in every believer’s heart. We must learn to heed Paul’s warning against quenching the Spirit and tend the flame of faith with care (1 Thessalonians 5:19). A newly saved person is sealed forever as a child of God by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can expel Him from their being. But with our actions and attitudes, we can stifle His voice. As Christians, we are to walk by the Spirit, relying upon Him to give guidance and fulfill our needs. When we choose to sin, however, the Spirit of God is muffled and consequently unable to operate as He normally does. It is as if we throw cold water on our heart’s fire.
Saying no when the Spirit prompts us to obey is rebellion. If we do not prayerfully deal with the fallout from our disobedience, we begin to drift away from the Lord. Other interests pull our attention away from reading the Bible and talking with God. Church loses its appeal. Our hungering and thirsting after the things of Christ wanes so we cease to feed our soul. Our faith fire slowly starves into ash.
Believers must fuel their flame with spiritual “kindling” — prayer, reading God’s Word, sharing the Gospel, and serving others. A hot fire has cleansing power. When we confess our sins and practice these disciplines, our heart stays clean. And the power of God flows through a clean heart.
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